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Digital Humanities in Latin America$
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Héctor Fernández L'Hoeste and Juan Carlos Rodríguez

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781683401476

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9781683401476.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FLORIDA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.florida.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Florida, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FLASO for personal use.date: 18 September 2021

Digital Utopias, Latina/o Mediated Realities

Digital Utopias, Latina/o Mediated Realities

(p.91) 5 Digital Utopias, Latina/o Mediated Realities
Digital Humanities in Latin America

Angharad N. Valdivia

University Press of Florida

There is relatively little research on Latinas/os and digital utopias. Taking up issues of the presence and inclusion of Latinas/os in discussions and policies about new digital communications technologies, this chapter begins with the canonical scholarship by Harold Innis, James Carey, and Vincent Mosco on the technological sublime. Given the changing demographics of the US population, with the 2000 US Census documenting the majority/minority status of Latinas/os, it behooves us to disaggregate the discursive terrain for ethnicity and socioeconomic status in relation to the promise of digital communications technology. The myth of the technological sublime—that each new technology will solve our social ills, including the racial ones—continues to be reiterated in the contemporary digital environment. While all new communications technologies have the potential to improve and increase democracy, their deployment seldom results in the inclusion and adoption by racialized populations. Whereas racial and ethnic dimensions were present in iterations of the myth, often through absence and othering, outcomes have not greatly benefitted Latinas/os, especially youth. While “new media” digital technology is useful for Latinas/os to communicate across space, especially when separated by economic and war-fueled migration, we have to ask if utopian promises benefit the population in a democratic manner—and at this time the answer continues to be “no.”

Keywords:   James Carey, new media, digital, Latinas/os, Vincent Mosco, technological sublime, technology, utopia

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